It wasn’t my kid!

Picture: Sinfonia, user of goSupermodel

Picture: Sinfonia, user of goSupermodel

There’s been plenty of talk about overprotective helicopter parents during the past years. Also called curling parents, these moms and dads tend to sweep every obstacle that may get in the way of their child. For them, it’s normal to for instance complain to a teacher about the kid’s unsatisfactory grade.

We at watAgame face this kind of parenting regularly. Usually, a child has broken the rules on goSupermodel or Momio and gotten punished by our employees or moderators. Then the parents contact us blaming either us or another kid.

The clear starting point in these discussions is that their kid hasn’t done anything wrong but instead received a warning or been removed from a community for absolutely no reason. That is in the parent’s point of view unfair, and now the kid is miserable.

”It was a friend who was visiting”

Here’s an example. An 11-year-old girl created an account on Momio, but the account was removed by us within 45 minutes since the girl had only written ”you’re ugly” to others.

A few hours later, her dad called us wondering why the daughter’s password doesn’t work. After us explaining the situation, his initial reaction was that it wasn’t his kid: ”It was a friend of hers who was visiting.”

That of course is possible. But then his girl would have been sitting next to the friend – since we could see only one device had been used – letting someone break the rules with an account registered under her phone number.

The company’s fault?

If another kid is not to blame, it’s the company: ”It shouldn’t be possible to write that kind of language in a kids’ service.” Instead of the problem being a kid writing bad stuff, it’s the system not censoring enough.

This is what we call curling online parenting.

How to do it in another way? We suggest that you talk about online behaviour at home and make sure your kid knows that common behaving rules apply also online. Get more tips from our previous post.

About the author:

Pia Edman, watAgame

Pia Edman worked as a Finnish Community Manager at watAgame from 2009 to 2015. She has several years of experience in working with online communities and online safety as well as with digital content creation and digital advertising. Pia has a master’s degree in Finnish language.

  • Christine

    August 7, 2015 at 19:01

    I don’t think it’s the company’s job to raise the children . As you write, the user was just created – how can you reach that affect on children’s behavior? You cant. You have made rules to be followed , and it also rules to be followed in the real world. Don’t take this on your shoulders . You’re doing a good job . Many parents will not realize/believe that their children can do ugly things – but they can! They have to learn it from their parents. Have a great day.

    • watAgame

      August 10, 2015 at 06:33

      Thank you for your comment and kind words, Christina! We believe that companies, organisations and parents need to work together to ensure that children stay safe and behave well online. Here’s a link to our previous post about it: